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TPS Holders, Lawyers Argue In Court Against Trump’s Termination of TPS, Cite Racial Bias

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San Francisco Chronicle:  “Judge appears likely to block Trump deportation order” for more than 300,000 TPS holders that could separate families

Yesterday, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and litigators gave arguments in San Francisco to U.S. District Judge Edward Chen regarding the Trump administration’s termination of TPS for over 300,000 people. Chen reportedly seemed to side with the plaintiffs who were arguing that Trump’s termination of TPS for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders is grounded in racial bias and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. If granted a stay, the lawsuit, would mean a delay in terminations for TPS holders and the potential separation of more than 273,000 U.S. citizen children from their families.

Below is a round-up of articles explaining the case and the background behind the litigation:

San Francisco Chronicle, “Judge appears likely to block Trump deportation order”

By Bob Egelko

A federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday seemed likely to block the Trump administration from deporting the first of more than 300,000 undocumented immigrants who have been allowed to stay in the United States, for decades in some cases, because of catastrophes in their home countries.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, who heard more than two hours of arguments, did not issue an immediate ruling on the government’s attempt to revoke Temporary Protected Status for former residents of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan. But he appeared to agree with the immigrants’ lawyers that the revocation was legally dubious for two reasons: as an unexplained reversal of past administrations’ policies, and as a reflection of President Trump’s racial bias.

Associated Press, “Judge Repeats Trump Vulgarity About African Countries During Hearing on Immigrant Protections”

By Sudhin Thanawala

The lawsuit alleges the administration’s decision was motivated by racism and cites Trump’s vulgar reference to African countries during a meeting about immigration at the White House in January.

“We just have blatant, rank discrimination statements coming from the most powerful person in the government,” Ahilan Arulanantham, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said at Tuesday’s hearing. Arulanantham is representing the plaintiffs.

Bloomberg,Judge Asks If ‘America First’ Is Code for Racial Hostility”

By Kartikay Mehrotra

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen heard arguments for more than two hours over whether he should block the Trump administration from overturning portions of a George H.W. Bush-era humanitarian policy that offers U.S. residency to nationals from countries in perilous conditions. At stake are protections for about 300,000 people from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Sudan who could be deported en masse if those countries’ Temporary Protected Status is scrapped by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Hill,Federal judge asks whether Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda is being used to camouflage racial animus”

By Aris Folley

The federal judge then pressed a Justice Department attorney, Adam Kirschner, about whether the president’s slogan phrase was being used to camouflage immigration policies some perceive to be discriminatory, it added.

He also reportedly referred to Trump’s alleged past references to countries like Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries.”

“The inference plaintiffs make is that this is code for ending immigration status for those who are non-white. What do you make of that?” Chen asked.

Bay City News Service,Immigrants Ask Judge To Block Termination Of Temporary Protected Status”

The immigrants’ civil rights lawsuit, filed in March, claims the administration’s action denied them equal treatment and due process. Their lawyers obtained Duke’s memo while gathering evidence for today’s hearing.

Chen’s questions during the hearing also seemed to favor a second argument in which the plaintiffs claim the administration’s action violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act by making a substantial policy change without providing a reasoned explanation.

Courthouse News Service,Judge Poised to Block Another Trump Immigration Policy”

By Helen Christophi

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said President Donald Trump’s racist agenda toward non-white immigrants appeared to have influenced his cabinet’s November 2017 decision to end temporary protected status [TPS] for about 390,000 immigrants from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador, possibly warranting a temporary block on the order while Chen reviews the case.

… Chen, however, noted a sentence in Duke’s documents in which she described her decision as being consistent with Trump’s America First policy view that the TPS program “must end for these countries soon.”

“This suggests the America First view is what’s driving the conclusion that the TPS program must end soon,” Chen said, identifying the plaintiffs’ claim that, “America First means ending immigration status for those who are non-white.”

News One,Trump’s ‘Sh*thole Countries’ Comment Comes Back To Haunt Him”

By Nigel Roberts

Previous administrations had no problem renewing TPS status for ongoing hardships in the recipient’s home country—even if the hardships were unrelated to the original reason for granting TPS status.

But the Trump administration wants to break with the past by sending folks back home if it feels that the original disaster no longer exists, refusing to renew status for a different hardship.

Chen sided with the immigrants in June when the administration asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit. He’s expected to rule in November on whether to block Trump from expelling up to 1,000 Sudanese people. Deportations to the other three countries are scheduled through 2019.